13 of the most random players to have won the Champions League

  • Kat Lucas
Newcastle United v Liverpool

There are some footballers whose CVs you just can't argue with. 

Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are the three players who have won more trophies than anyone else and all with good reason. 

But let's be frank. For others, there is an awful lot of 'right place, right time' involved in lifting silverware. 

Last week, GIVEMESPORT rounded up the 21 legends who have never won the Champions League - and it just goes to show that lifting the continent's ultimate prize (or not, in their cases) isn't necessarily an indicator of ability. 

At any rate, it got us thinking about some of the more unlikely European champions who have ventured to heights the great Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic never did. 

Ivan Campo

Let's begin with one of our more left-field suggestions. Prior to playing for Bolton Wanderers, Campo's career was peaking in 2000 with Real Madrid. His defensive partner in that final, Aitor Karanka, can also join him in the list of Madridistas who inexplicably ended up in various small towns in the north of England. 

Unfortunately, his repeated mishaps during his time at the Bernabeu convinced Real to let him go, hence him swapping the Spanish capital for sunny greater Lancashire. 

Ivan Campo of Real Madrid

Scott Carson 

Yes, this also happened. The future England 'keeper (another ill-fated endeavour) did play a part in Liverpool's 2004/05 campaign, playing in the first leg of the quarter-final against Juventus. His opposite number on that night, Gianluigi Buffon, has never won the Champions League. Let that sink in for a moment. 

Carson was then on the bench in the final against AC Milan in Istanbul, just months after signing from Leeds United. Regular back-up stopper Chris Kirkland was injured and to his credit, Carson did later try and give his teammate his medal. 

Liverpool v Juventus


Oh, what playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney will do for your mantelpiece. Manchester United's 2008 winners were one of the great sides assembled by Sir Alex Ferguson, but we're still not quite sure how Anderson fitted into that. Mind you, he did score his penalty in the shootout that night - that's more than Ronaldo can say!

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Paul Lambert

The Ipswich boss' travails in management can never take away what he achieved as a player. Probably best remembered for his time at Celtic, the Scotsman also played for Borussia Dortmund and lifted the Champions League in 1997, beating Juventus 3-1 in the final. 

Paul Lambert

Djimi Traore

Best known for *that* chant and his iconic back heel own goal against Burnley. Five months later, he was a European champion. There truly is hope for us all. 

UEFA Champions League Final - AC Milan v Liverpool

Mario Balotelli

Jose Mourinho really did try to calm Balotelli down during his time at Inter Milan and while he largely failed in that mission, he at least landed him some silverware. The Italian striker earned his move to Manchester City shortly afterwards. 

To be fair, Balotelli never lacked natural talent.

Inter Milan's forward Mario Balotelli ce

Benni McCarthy

Another man for whom Mourinho is no doubt top of his Christmas card list. Best remembered for being a one-season wonder at Blackburn Rovers, the South African had by then enjoyed the greatest night of his career when Porto upset the odds in 2004. 

Porto's Benni McCarthy celebrates his go

Roque Junior 

A Brazilian World Cup winner - nobody can complain about him having also won the Champions League. Except Leeds fans. They have every right to wonder how a man who played just seven times for them in an awful spell at Elland Road, still managing to concede 24 times during the defender's time there, conquered Europe. He was also sent off on his home debut against Birmingham City. 

Roque Junior

Ryan Bertrand

Roberto Di Matteo went rogue by making Bertrand the first ever player to make his Champions League debut in the final. There was method in the madness though, as Chelsea won the competition for the first time in their history. Not many of his Southampton teammates will have stories like that. 

FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

Alberto Moreno

Mercifully, it was Moreno's last act as a Liverpool player. Andy Robertson replacing him is one of the major reasons Jurgen Klopp's side are now the force they are. Moreno was released days after winning the Champions League final in 2019. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League  Final

Jose Bosingwa 

Incredibly, Bosingwa has won it twice, once with Porto and once with Chelsea. The Portuguese full-back certainly did a job against Bayern Munich in 2012. We hope he enjoyed every minute of it too, as a year later he was getting relegated with QPR. 

FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

Sulley Muntari

A cult hero thanks to that incredible season with Portsmouth under Harry Redknapp and later winding up at Sunderland, Muntari won eight trophies during a glittering four-year spell with Inter Milan. 

Bayern Muenchen v Inter Milan - UEFA Champions League Final

Jesper Blomqvist

Fate was on Blomqvist's side in 1999 at Camp Nou. Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were both suspended, meaning Sir Alex had little choice but to field his little-used midfielder alongside Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Not that he actually *contributed* much, and he was eventually replaced with Teddy Sheringham. 


Their grandchildren are going to have some Googling to do. 

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